To the high school recruiting world, there are two factions of people involved each year; one one hand, the media, coaches and recruiting analysts are quite familiar with the landscape and have a solid working knowledge of the recruiting calendar. On the other hand, parents and recruits make up a group of people navigating the process for the first time.
If it often seems that the rules surrounding recruiting laid out by the NCAA are ever-changing, that’s pretty accurate. But one major aspect that is usually not clear is when a college coach can actually come and see a prospect play. These are generally referred to as ‘live’ periods, but there are several types of restricted ‘periods’ and the stipulations often seem dizzying and complex: during some periods, coaches can call but not speak to a player in person; at other times, coaches can’t talk to a prospect at all.
To help make sense of it each year, here are three specific points:
1. The high school season is live, at all times. At any time during the high school season, coaches can come, see, evaluate and recruit players. However, remember that this is also the same time period when college coaches are involved with their own seasons, so it’s not as if the coaches can spend all of their time tracking down potential prospects.
2. The NCAA lists all of the periods for recruiting at this link. Download this PDF, print it off, and refer to it. This also should tell you when playing AAU is most effective. This document is the single best tool for a parent or recruit to understand the different recruiting periods.
3. Remember that the rules are different for Division II and Division III coaches during non-scholastic periods.
No, it’s not simple, and yes, it changes all of the time. But it’s important not to listen to what everyone says and actually find out for yourself.